Statement of Christopher W. Hansen, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 21, 2013 — “People with cancer and their families are deeply disappointed in the proposal by House appropriators to cut funding for medical research and health programs by staggering amounts in fiscal year 2014. The proposal is an irresponsible move by Congress at a time when investment in the fight against cancer is of critical importance.
“Proposed cuts of more than 18 percent under FY 2013 sequester levels to the FY 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill would gut funding for groundbreaking medical research and critical programs that are imperative to the fight to eliminate death and suffering from cancer. Even in tough economic times, lawmakers have a responsibility to adequately fund urgent national priorities such as cancer, which kills more than 580,000 people in America each year.
“The mindless across-the-board cuts leveled by sequestration took effect because of a failure of the legislative process. This latest proposal does not represent a responsible effort to fight a disease that accounts for nearly one out of every four deaths in this country. Without a sustained and robust investment in medical research at the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and cancer centers across the country, our nation’s fight against cancer will wither, our brightest scientific minds will leave the research field or pursue opportunities abroad, and the United States will cede its preeminence in the research field.
“Today’s proposal also threatens proven programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that enable hundreds of thousands of people to access affordable breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings, as well as proven methods for quitting tobacco use. It also would severely hamper implementation of critical patient protections that are improving access to quality, affordable health care nationwide.
“ACS CAN urges lawmakers of both political parties to prioritize an issue that affects millions of Americans and fulfill their obligation to represent the needs of their constituents by adequately funding research and prevention programs and critical patient protections that will help to defeat cancer.”
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.
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